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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Chinese pay homage to legendary emperor

(Xinhua)

08:38, April 05, 2012

A ceremony is held to honor Huangdi in Huangling County of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, April 4, 2012. Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, is a legendary hero living more than 4,000 years ago. He is considered to be the ancestor of the Chinese nation. (Xinhua/Liu Xiao)

XI'AN, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Over 10,000 people attended an elaborate ceremony in an arid northwestern Chinese county on Wednesday to pay homage to Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, who was considered to be the initiator of Chinese civilization and the ancestor of the Chinese.

The gathering at the emperor's mausoleum, located in Huangling county, Shaanxi province, this year coincided with the country's Tomb-Sweeping Day, a traditional festival to pay homage to deceased family members.

At Wednesday's ceremony, a drum was struck 34 times, once for each of China's provincial-level regions. Participants included people from across China as well as overseas Chinese.

Also present were senior political adviser Chen Zongxing, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Gu Xiulian, former vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress, and Yok Mu-ming, chairman of the New Party in Taiwan.

The Yellow Emperor, a sovereign and cultural hero in Chinese mythology, is believed to have reigned from 2,697 BC to 2,598 BC. His deeds have been embellished with time -- he has been credited with introducing the systems of government and law to human kind, civilizing the Earth, teaching people many skills and inventing all manner of items.

China has commemorated the Yellow Emperor since the Spring and Autumn Period around 8 BC. Chinese usually call themselves "sons and grandsons of the emperors of Huangdi and Yandi."

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